Maltese From a Different Perspective

Maltese From a Different Perspective

Author WDF Staff

06.04.2021.


When it comes to small companion dogs, there aren’t many that can match the charm and charisma of the adorable Maltese. These tiny, fluffy, white dogs make ideal companions that will capture your heart from the moment you meet them.

There is not much that hasn’t already been said or written about these dogs, but if you are thinking about getting one, you’d probably want to know a few more things about them. Take a look at the Maltese from a different perspective. You will find out what Maltese owners say about them and what they are really like as pets.

What kind of a pet is the Maltese?

To understand the Maltese character, you should understand their historical development. In the middle of the Meditteranean sea, a small island of Malta became a blend of European and African cultures. It has a warm climate and beautiful beaches. This is the original home of the Maltese dog breed.

maltese on the ground

Lapdogs

These dogs were carefully bred and developed to become the best possible lapdog of the wealthiest Maltese families and royals. They wanted a dog they wouldn’t have to work a lot with, train, or socialize. That is exactly what they got in a Maltese. If you want a calm, friendly family dog and prefer toy breeds, a Maltese should be your prime candidate. These dogs are somewhat energetic, but only in the sense of paying with you. They can have bursts of energy when they need it but are generally considered very calm and mild.

Family dogs

These dogs feel most at home inside the home close to their families. They will enjoy a casual walk or hike, but they mostly enjoy peaceful family life. These adorable dogs will never leave your site. If they are not right beside you on the couch, they will follow you wherever you go.

Smart

Just because it is a small dog and people throughout history didn’t bother to work as much with their Maltese dogs doesn’t mean you should do the same. They are small and don’t need a lot of exercise, but you should properly train them. They are somewhat intelligent, so getting them dog puzzles or playing smart games is an excellent option for your new Maltese puppy.

There is another small dog breed that is very similar to the Maltese. If you want to know more, check out the complete Havanese profile.

The pros of getting a Maltese

All dog breeds have certain advantages and disadvantages. That doesn’t mean they are good or bad. Whether a characteristic is considered an advantage or a disadvantage will mostly depend on the owner. Allow us to explain - Getting an active dog can be a disadvantage if their owner is not an active person, but it is a massive advantage if they are. Getting the right dog will involve a lot of self-evaluation. Luckily, the adaptable Maltese will easily fit into most households. Here are some of the best things about getting a Maltese;

Hypoallergenic

Just to be clear, there are no truly hypoallergenic dog breeds. Some breeds don’t shed or barely shed, so they might be considered hypoallergenic. This is one of the traits Maltese bring to the table. Their fluffy, soft coat barely sheds. It is a massive advantage if you have slight dog hair allergies or simply hate vacuuming dog hair.

maltese puppy from behind

Great with kids

The Maltese’s calm temperament and friendliness make them one of the best choices for families with kids. However, these dogs usually weigh less than 7 pounds, so make sure that kids understand how fragile these dogs are. They are better suited for families with older kids that understand how to safely interact with dogs.

Life expectancy

The Maltese have long lives, assuming everything is OK with their health. There is nothing worse than losing a pet, and some dogs can only share a few years with us. Breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog or Dogue de Bordeaux have incredibly short lifespans. Luckily, the Maltese live on average 12 - 14 years, but dog owners regularly reported dogs that live up to 17 or 18 years. You can influence their health and well-being by ensuring they are on a healthy diet and get regular physical exercise.

There is another popular white, fluffy lapdog on the shortlist of becoming a full AKC member - check out the adorable Bolognese.

Cons of owning a Maltese

Like with everything else in life, there are two sides to the Maltese dog breeds. There are things about them that could be considered a CON. However, if you enjoy things like grooming or are not fond of going to dog parks, these things shouldn’t pose a problem for you.

Grooming

You can see in these pictures how gorgeous the longhaired Maltese look. Unfortunately, this is not a look these dogs were born with. There is a lot of grooming, brushing, and bathing involved if you want to keep your dog’s coat ready for dog shows. Their coat might be beautiful, but it will take a lot of effort to keep it that way.

maltese puppy outside

Housebreaking

One of the first things all Maltese owners will tell you - these dogs are difficult to housebreak. The Maltese dogs seem to have difficulties learning where they should do their business. Luckily, some puppy pads could help you in that process, but that can end up backfiring. The dog can get used to them, which will only cause more issues in regular housebreaking.

Separation anxiety

Unfortunately, Maltese dogs are prone to separation anxiety. These are family dogs, and being close to family members is in their blood. These dogs hate being left alone, and they are prone to developing behavioral issues if separation anxiety appears. Luckily, this is an issue dog owners can handle, and there are things like dog cameras that will let you communicate with your dog even when you are not close to them.

If you love the Maltese, you might be interested in a bit more active version and a breed very similar to the Maltese. Check out the fabulous Bichon Frise.

Maltese from an owners perspective

Nothing beats first-person information, and getting the Maltese’s description from an owner is the best possible way to get a glimpse into the true Maltese nature. That is why we decided to contact and interview Maltese owners from around the world. We spoke to an interesting couple from Luxemburg, Anna and Mattias. They share their home with a beautiful bunny called Laura and a 7-year old Maltese named Blitzy. We asked them a lot of questions about their Maltese, and here is what they told us.

What is Blitzy’s favorite activity?

Anna said, “Blitzy is not your typical Maltese. We spoke to other owners and breeders on dog shows we attended, and it seems our dog is a lot more active than other Maltese dogs. We live in an urban environment, and she seems the happiest when my husband or I take her for a walk. She loves being outside and playing with other dogs, which is not a typical Maltese trait from what I know about them.”

We were curious how their dog is getting along with their bunny, so we asked them about it. Mattias told us,

“We were worried that they wouldn’t get along. Blitzy wasn’t too happy she got a new roommate, but she got used to him pretty quickly. If she wants peace of mind, she just goes to her crate. There isn’t a tiny bit of aggression in her. She would never hurt the bunny, and they often roam around our apartment together. Nevertheless, we keep an eye on them when they are both out.”

Mattias, Anna’s husband, is pretty tall, about 6’6, so we asked him, “What is it like to own a dog so small? Some guys want bigger dogs, and we know plenty of them that said they would never get such a small dog.”

Mattias told us, “(hahaha) That is true. When Blitzy and I walk, some people do find it funny. She could fit in my shoe. However, this was Anna’s idea, but I would never trade Blitzy for any other dog. She is the sweetest, kindest dog you could ever wish for. Plus, she seems to like me more!”

We were still interested in their Maltese, so we asked how hard it is to care for their dog?

Anna said, “It was a lot harder when we were attending dog shows. We had to keep her coat long and groomed at all times. We were pretty careful about where we took her for walks. She has a special talent for getting dirty. Plus, she is really playful, so she immediately wanted to play whenever she sees a dog.
For the past 2 and a half years (2018), we stopped going to dog shows, and we decided to take her to the groomer every 2 and a half months. Her coat is now short and a lot easier to maintain. The only time we personally bathe her is if she is really dirty from the walk. You could say we have a Maltese with a Terrier energy while she is walking.”

There are many interesting toy breeds that might be a great fit for you or your family. Check out this article - The famous Shih Tzu temperament.

Getting a healthy Maltese dog

The Maltese are generally considered a healthy breed. However, all toy breeds are prone to some health issues, both physical and psychological. Dogs like the Maltese can become vicious if they are unsocialized. They are small and very easy to pick up. However, some owners overdo it, and they spoil their dogs. While it seems amusing to treat a dog like a baby, it is considered unhealthy. The dog forgets they are actually a pet, and they become very spoiled and problematic.

maltese puppy

The Maltese should be treated like a dog. They are lapdogs, so constant cuddling and napping in their owner’s lap are expected. Still, owners need to ensure their dogs are socialized and trained. Only then can they expect a well-behaved and confident toy breed.

When it comes to the Maltese physical health, they are considered relatively healthy. They are prone to certain diseases, and you can read more about them in the full Maltese breed profile. Some conditions and issues can be prevented with vaccines. Others can be prevented by making sure you get a puppy from a reputable Maltese breeder.

There is nothing more important than buying a dog responsibly. As soon as you decide you want to get a dog, make sure you understand that dogs can be expensive. Many future owners are tempted to get a dog from social media groups or from their local ads. While you can get lucky and contact a breeder that is using those channels for marketing, more often than not, those channels are filled with backyard breeders and puppy mills. The only way you can ensure your puppy will be healthy is by getting it from a responsible breeder.

Maltese breeders will perform all the necessary health checks. They will test their dogs for various health problems, and if a breeding dog happens to get bad results, they will be excluded from their breeding programs. The point is - healthy parents have the best possibility of producing healthy puppies. The only way to ensure that is to get in touch with registered and responsible Maltese breeders.

World Dog Finder team

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